AFL player took drink before positive test

Former St Kilda player Ahmed Saad admits he took a banned substance before returning the positive test that led to his 18-month AFL doping ban.

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The Saints have delisted the 24-year-old, but he is hopeful that a club will re-draft him at the end of next season.

He said on Tuesday he is devastated about the suspension, which ends in February 2015.

Saad said he did not check the substance because he received it from a trusted source.

He tested positive for Methyl Synephrine HCL, which was in an energy drink he took earlier this year before an AFL match.

Under anti-doping rules, the substance is only illegal on match day and that was when Saad was tested.

Asked whether he had taken the energy drink previously before a match, Saad told SEN: “yeah, I have actually.”

Saad thought nothing of it until a doctor checked the substances he had disclosed for his doping test.

“From where I got the product, (it was) someone who was like a mentor and a family member for me,” Saad said.

“I had that much trust with him, as if a coach had given me that product.

“I’m a bit devastated with what happened.

“But … I have to move forward and that’s life.

“Something went wrong and now I have to deal with it.”

St Kilda confirmed Saad’s suspension late last month.

He said it was not a shock, because once the doctor checked the substance they knew there was a problem.

“From day one, we did everything we (could) to try to show the AFL it was a mistake,” Saad said.

Saad added that sacked Saints coach Scott Watters was one of the main reasons he had coped with the drama.

While the club has cut Saad, it continues to support him.

“They’re making sure my life is on track, (in) regards to work and school, making sure I make the most of this year,” he said.

Saad said he was determined not to waste his year out of the game.

“It’s all up to me, to make sure I’m fit and I’ve trained and worked hard,” he said.

“It does crush me, but it only puts some fuel in me to come back better.

“I don’t think it’s an end now, I don’t think my career is over.”

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